Splints: Stabilization and Repositioning. (NIDCR)

Conservative Treatments (Stabilization Splints)

Your doctor or dentist may recommend an oral appliance, also called a stabilization splint or bite guard, which is a plastic guard that fits over the upper or lower teeth. Stabilization splints are the most widely used treatments for TMJ disorders. Studies of their effectiveness in providing pain relief, however, have been inconclusive. If a stabilization splint is recommended, it should be used only for a short time and should not cause permanent changes in the bite. If a splint causes or increases pain, stop using it and see your health care provider.

The conservative, reversible treatments described are useful for temporary relief of pain – they are not cures for TMJ disorders. If symptoms continue over time, come back often, or worsen, tell your doctor.  (…)

Irreversible Treatments 

Irreversible treatments that have not been proven to be effective – and may make the problem worse – include orthodontics to change the bite; crown and bridge work to balance the bite; grinding down teeth to bring the bite into balance, called “occlusal adjustment”; and repositioning splints, also called orthotics, which permanently alter the bite. (…)

See: TMJ Disorders   (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)

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